Friday OTT (Netflix) release: The Hunt For Veerappan

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Veerappan webseries poster

Are you intrigued by the backstories of smugglers and bandits? Here is an exciting series for you to binge-watch on Netflix! The much-awaited series, “The Hunt for Veerappan” will premiere on 4 August on Netflix. Sandalwood smuggler Veerappan and the police were involved in a cat & mouse game for almost 20 years, before the former was caught and killed in 2004.

The director of the series, Selvamani Selvaraj, feels that Veerappan’s story is something that everyone has to know mainly because of the way the bandit-turned-smuggler operated. For over 20 years, the police tried hard in capturing Veerappan, overcoming all odds and political challenges, and this manhunt is talked about even today!

How many episodes will the series have?

Selvaraj had always wanted to make this series as a 4-part documentary, though he admitted that condensing a 20-year incident into 4 parts was definitely a challenging experience. Selvaraj and his team spent close to 4 years making this series, out of which 2 were spent researching the facts. They spent the next 2 years shooting and post-production work. Selvaraj claimed he had read all books there were ever written about Veerappan, but he understood many things only when he visited the real locales and spoke to the people living there still about the smuggler.

The four-part series will focus on distinct themes to take viewers through the life and history of Veerappan. The first part of the manhunt deals with Veerappan living life as the King of the Forest, while the second part deals with the smuggler’s conflicts with the police. The third part deals with the political angle of the manhunt, and the fourth & final part deals with the smuggler’s efforts & desperation to escape from the police and political forces.

What can we expect from the series?

Selvamani Selvaraj aims to give multiple perspectives through this manhunt-based documentary. The series will be more different and special than whatever one has seen and heard about Veerappan, because it features interviews by Veerappan’s widow, Muthulakshmi, the smuggler’s team members, members of the Tamil Nadu Liberation Army, the investigative journalist who met Veerappan in the forest, members of the Special Task Force that were involved in the manhunt and more.

Selvaraj and his team had to gain the trust of these people to get them to speak for the series. Some of the interesting points covered here would be Muthulakshmi’s shocking revelation of how the police tortured her husband and how she had to suffer when the police burned down the houses of innocent people in Nallur. Veerappan’s remastered images look fantastic in the series, and the director credits late photojournalist Netra Raju for the same.

One of the interesting aspects that the series will cover is Veerappan’s amazing relationship with the forest. This angle has not been explored in any of the shows that we have already seen about the smuggler. Selvamani talks about how Veerappan could always feel the presence of a forest angel around him, and how he could predict things with the movement of birds and animals.

Directed by Selvamani Selvaraj and produced by Apoorva Bakshi, this series promises to give us a new dimension of Veerappan, whom we only know as the Sandalwood Smuggler until now. Let’s know more about this person on Aug 4th, when the series airs on Netflix. 

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